The new changes in direction includes a 30% farmer contribution with Government through National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) contribution of 70%. This system, Mr. Samuel Mugasi, the Executive Director of the agency mandated to manage the agricultural input distribution chains, calls it ‘co-ownership’.
This is a new cost sharing intervention for farmers dealing especially in high value crops starting with Hass Ovacado and Macadamia. The new strategy is deemed a possible game changer to transform agro-business as confirmed by ED. Samuel Mugasi during the NAADS breakfast media meeting and engagement on the morning of Friday 20th January 2023 in Kampala.
“We are now no longer giving out free seedlings; NAADS pay 70% and farmers pay 30%. We want that co-ownership.” Mugasi confirmed. The agricultural agency Executive Director elaborated on NAADs achievements in their 21 years of existence and emphasized that the new changes are a driver to the fresh chapter. “It’s no longer a free seeds supply affair as it has been. With the new programmes, farmers will pay 30% and government will contribute the remaining 70%.
Nucleus farmers:The nucleus farmer partnerships are based on a Memoranda of Understanding involving three parties namely; NAADS Secretariat, Nucleus Farmers and the District Local Government inhabiting the Nucleus farms. This strategy involves an integrated value chain approach and participation of farmers through an out growers’ scheme and, or any other Nucleus farmer-producer outreach modality.
Strategy is intended to enable and, or enhance access to relevant agricultural support services, including quality agricultural inputs, extension, research and technology, storage, processing and value addition, market information and market for produce, finance and insurance. Established through the NAADS Act, 2001, the agency’s mandate was initially to provide agricultural advisory services to farmers. But it has over the years evolved, based on lessons and the prevailing Government strategic direction.
In the recent years, NAADS mandate has focused on the agricultural Sector Strategic Objective for increasing access to critical agricultural inputs to farmers for improved household food security and incomes. Highlighting the success, the NAADS Secretariat put it clearly to the local media practitioners that Uganda no longer depends on importation of fruits from Kenya.
“We are now growing fruits like Mangoes, Oranges and Pineapples. We’re proud to be associated with this effort of changing livelihoods in Uganda,” Mugasi noted. “NAADS is the single most government entity that has a foot in all parts of this country.” On an overview of NAADS-supported strategic intervention for promotion of Hass Avocado and Macadamia, Mugasi recommends that It’s worth investing in these crops because it’s less risky, low-cost input, low-maintenance and has available market worldwide. “Uganda is a unique country. You can almost grow anything, everywhere. Hass Avocado and Macadamia can also grow anywhere, given the favorable environment,” Dr. Mugasi.
This means most parts of Uganda are suitable for production of these lucrative fruits. Currently they are grown in Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Mbarara, Wakiso and Mityana by over 1000 farmers. Hass avocado and Macadamia are Uganda’s emerging non-traditional cash crops grown by various categories of farmers in the country. In most parts of the country, the climatic and soil conditions are favorable for production of these tree crops.
Estimates indicate that the crops are profitable but the profitability partly depends on the number of trees grown, the quality of the seedlings and tree management. NAADS therefore is focusing energies on providing Oil Seeds, Macadamia Seeds and Hass Avocado. This initiative is already underway having started in Season B 2022 with the distribution of 103,362 Hass avocado seedlings, to more than 200 farmers and 29,234 Macadamia seedlings to selected farmers.
Hass avocado is a variety of avocado with dark green, bumpy skin and has recently become one of Uganda’s newest export crops. The agricultural agency is set to distribute more seedlings in the coming planting season A 2023 through selected nuclear model farmers. The purpose of this new model is to manage partnerships with big commercial farmers for the production of strategic commodities that have national and international demand. In 2023, the approximate price range for Uganda Macadamia Nuts is between USd2.69 and USD2.77 per kilogram or between USD1.22 and USD1.26 per pound. The price in Uganda Shilling is UGX9594.88 per kg. The average price for a ton is USD2686.57 especially in major Cities like Jinja and Kampala.
Ms. Grace Kazigati, The Head Technical and Agribusiness Services Department also stressed the NAADS support interventions along the entire commodity value chain, including promotion of agribusiness and value chain development, and other Government strategic interventions for the Agricultural Sector as guided from time to time. Under budget for FY 2022-23, NAADS is supporting the strategic intervention for promoting and scaling up emerging high value strategic commodities like, Hass Avocado and Macadamia in line with the MAAIF’s Agriculture Value Chain Development Strategy.
This strategic intervention is intended to meet both national, or local and export demand for increased household incomes and export earnings. NAADS support focus to the two commodities is in the medium term where the line Ministry (MAAIF) targets of 20,000 Macadamia farmers and 50,000 Hass avocado farmers along the value chain implementation.
The Crops Market:Market for these fruits include individuals (31.2%), retailers (25%), wholesalers (18.7%), processors (12.5%) and exporters (12.5%) with the processors buying the bulk standing at 97.5% of the fruits. Potential export market also includes Asia, UAE, Qatar and China as well as Europe, especially Italy. There is high demand for both fresh fruits and avocado oil in Europe and China. In Dubai, Hass fruits fetch about USD3.5 per kg, in China, about USD8 and in Europe and the USA, about USD6 per kg. At the time the global demand for Hass avocado was estimated at 27 Metric Tons, but the market was being supplied with only 11 Metric tons. Market for processed crude oil is in Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Netherlands at USD 4.8 – 6.5 per kg.
- Mr. Daniels N. Tatya is an affluent Sports Writer, Commentator and Editor. His over 15 years of covering almost major sporting events makes him a revered and an authority on investigative Sports journalism in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected] +256(0)758268315
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